“Make-A-Wish Arizona changed my life, and now I want to spread that happiness and hope so I can change other people’s lives, too.”
Campbell has been one of the Cubs’ biggest fans ever since he struck up an unlikely friendship with left fielder Kyle Schwarber at an Arizona Diamondbacks spring training game.
“He signed my baseball for me, and I gave him one of my Campbell’s Crew wrist bands,” said Campbell, who shares the small green bands to raise awareness about his rare medical condition.
“Kyle said he would wear my band all year long in honor of me that day,” said Campbell. “He even wears it during games.”
Since that day, Campbell and Schwarber have become close friends, corresponding and visiting each other whenever the Cubs are in town. Campbell watches every Cubs game, and he loves rooting for a team that gives back to others.
“You can see in their videos online how the team likes to help others, and all the players seem really nice,” Campbell said.
Campbell’s friendship with Kyle and love for the Cubs has helped him push through all the diagnoses that contribute to his disorder, such as restrictive lung disease, gastroparesis and cerebral palsy. He has 13 doctors, and he takes school online because of his many medical appointments.
“Campbell is an hour-to-hour child,” said his mother Carrie. “There is no cure for his condition, and we never know what’s going to happen. When Make-A-Wish Arizona told us he was eligible for a wish, we were so excited for him.”
Campbell knew exactly what he wanted his wish to be: to watch the Cubs play at their home stadium, Wrigley Field.
“Even though I’m a huge Cubs fan, I’ve never seen them play at Wrigley Field,” said Campbell. “I was so excited to see a game in their stadium, Plus I was going to get to see Kyle and the other players on their home turf!”
After counting down the days until his wish trip, the big day finally arrived. Campbell and his family loved walking around Chicago and exploring famous sites like the John Hancock Center and the Cloud Gate. Then, on the day of the game, a limo picked them up from their hotel to take them to Wrigley Field.
“It was the best day ever,” Campbell said. “I hung out with Kyle and some of the other players, and it was really fun getting to know them after watching all their games for so long. They were super nice.”
Campbell also met Cubs manager Joe Maddon and Cubs executive Theo Epstein, and he had the opportunity to walk onto the field.
“Standing on the field was the coolest part, because I could see everything from the players’ perspective,” Campbell said. “There’s definitely nothing like being there in real life. It was way better than watching the game at home on TV!”
Campbell enjoyed watching two games from behind third base with his family and spent some private time with his favorite player before he flew back to Arizona. On the flight home, he felt so blessed from his wish that he turned to his mother to tell her that he wanted to start a charity of his own.
“Going to Wrigley Field and meeting the players was so much fun, and I didn’t think about one bad thing when I was there,” said Campbell. “Make-A-Wish Arizona did such a nice thing for me and gave me so much happiness. I realized I wanted to spread that happiness and give hope to people in need.”
Campbell’s charity, Campbell’s Crew Cares, prepares food bags for the homeless and distributes them every month. Last December, the organization took 150 homeless children shopping for food and clothing.
While there is still no cure for Campbell’s disorder, it doesn’t stop him from smiling and bringing joy to others.
“My wish changed my life, so now I want to help change other people’s lives,” said Campbell, who is starting seventh grade online in the fall and has big plans in the works for his charity.
“The positivity and happiness that Make-A-Wish will bring to your life are amazing,” Carrie said. “You just have to open your eyes and let the magic happen, because there’s magic in this organization.”